"A debate is when two people
Who want to be President
Boast about how great they are
And insult the other person,"
He volunteered confidently
Using two of our recent "Words of the Day"
In a meaningful context
And smiling broadly.
"Well, interestingly enough, debates are more than just something people do when they want to become President!" I offered attempting to broaden their thinking about debates! "Debates can happen whenever you have differing opinions. We could debate the best ice cream flavor or the best breed of dog!"
"It probably wouldn't be as interesting as debating about who would be the best President," another student offered!
"Let's look again at this title, The Cat or Dog Debate, and focus on the debate in this short story," I countered knowing that I did not want to get into politics with third graders in the waning days before their state tests. "Let's focus on the debate in this story!"
Meanwhile, inside my head, I am thinking we will need to broaden our thinking on what it means to debate a topic of one's passion - AFTER the ELA test is history.
PS Happy St Patrick's Day even if you debate the value of corned beef!